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The colourful, Glastonbury-inspired festival wedding of Lucy + Ollie at Southover House, Dorset

Glastonbury-inspired festival wedding

With Glastonbury playing a crucial part in their love story, Lucy and Ollie always knew their wedding would be festival-themed; but they really went above and beyond with Lolliefest at Southover House in Dorset!

Making things bright and colourful with a ribbon installation just like the ribbon tower they got engaged on top of, but keeping it elegant and chic with bohemian styling and pastel bridesmaids, they had a day that was totally Worthy (geddit?). Plus, they had wedding pizza and AN AFTERPARTY DISCO BASEMENT. Best wedding ever?

Will Patrick Wedding Photography…

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What was your favourite part of the day?

Their whole day was a dream to shoot, was so refreshing and so well put together, but the dancing in the evening was especially amazing.

These guys met at a festival and clearly know their music… as do all their friends and family! As a result, the dancefloor was always packed and everyone was on such good form that it was a dream to photograph and just loads of fun. Guests were singing up on stage, people were going up on shoulders and – lest I forget – there was a pizza van outside serving amazing pizza. Definitely had a few slices of that after the band finished their first set!

What was your favourite shot of the day, and why?

The three of us had wandered off to take some portraits together in the orchard and had come across a tennis court. We were mucking around with different angles and generally having a laugh, which resulted in this one photo of them lying on the floor with the tennis court lines behind them. It’s my favourite because it’s a bit different and they look like they haven’t got a care in the world!

Lucy and Ollie…

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How did you meet and get engaged?

We met at Glastonbury Festival in 2013 and hit it off straight away after realising we had a scary amount in common, from both working in social media to having the exact same taste in music… After a week of getting to know each other as friends, Ollie decided to move from Milton Keynes to London and ended up coincidentally (!) a five-minute walk from mine. The rest is history! Then at Glastonbury ’17, the only way Ollie could tempt a hungover Lucy out of her sleeping bag was with food (he wanted to make sure I was sober and would remember it, so morning was the only choice!). Once a hangry Lucy had been satisfied, Ollie suggested that we go to the top of the ribbon tower to take in the view  ‘as the queue was small and we hadn’t done it before’. None the wiser and still half asleep, I climbed to the top, enjoyed the view for what must have been about 10 seconds, then turned around and he was on one knee. There were lots of happy tears. The rest of the festival was a blur of celebrations and telling every random person about our news!

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Was there an overall theme to your day?

Because of our story, it had already been decided early on that there would be a festival theme if we were ever to marry. Our day ended up being the perfect representation of us. We love good food, a huge variety of music and a decent party – and this is exactly what ‘Lolliefest’ was. The ribbon tower proposal meant we could go crazy with loads of colourful ribbons everywhere. The bridal party outfits and flowers were more pastel tones – lots of sage green, coral and white – as we didn’t want any bright colour-induced headaches!  The constant flow of booze and our amazing band ensured our dance floor was packed from start to finish. Needless to say, there were a few sore heads in the morning – luckily we had a brunch van arrive (and lots of leftover booze for hair of the dog) so we were able to make a full weekend of it.

How long were you planning it for, and what was the best bit?

We had 14 months of planning (but really, I’d been planning it since I was about 5!) The best bit was all of our little trips down to Dorset in the lead up to meet suppliers – the food-tasting with Beale’s was definitely up there! As was our week of getting crafty in the in-laws’ garden, making all of the signs and ribbon decorations. That’s when it all started to feel very real!

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How was your day unique to you?

2018 was officially ‘The Year of The Wedding’ for us – everyone decided they were going to be getting married this year, therefore we wanted to make sure ours stood out in our own little way. The ribboned ceiling in the marquee and the after-party in the basement (AKA the ‘Dorset Disco’) were both things we hadn’t seen done before and hoped would make it a bit more memorable!

If you could relive one part of the day all over again, which part would it be?

The evening party! It went by SO fast and it’s all a bit of a blur (that might be partly due to the pints of gin & tonic that were being served). Luckily our amazing photographer Will stayed right until the end so could capture all of those magic little moments that would have otherwise been forgotten.

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What are your favourite details of the day?

I loved how the tables looked for the wedding breakfast. We couldn’t decide on the layout and had a big family debate the day before with lots of shuffling of tables (gotta love a DIY wedding), but then our catering manager had the idea of setting it up banquet style, which actually worked so well. It meant everyone could see the top table for speeches, the catering staff could get around easily and it also suited the informal style of our wedding perfectly. Plus, the coloured kids’ wellies acting as vases, the ribbons on the chairs, the #lolliefest lollies as favours, the little jars of flowers dotted around, all just finished it off… I had a hard time imagining how it would look, so seeing it all come together made me very happy! 

Our incredible florist Willow and Wisps also needs a shout out – I asked for a few flowers weaved into the staircase in the main hallway as this is what guests would see first when they arrives, but it actually turned out to be such a beautiful feature and photo backdrop – she went way above and beyond my expectations.

How did you find your suppliers, and why did you decide on them?

Our photographer, band, florist and caterers all came from recommendations, which was nice and easy. It was quite tricky choosing a videographer as most of the ones we’d seen online were a bit cheesy or just ridiculously overpriced. Fortunately, we managed to find Ben Radley one day after searching through Instagram hashtags – he did an awesome job capturing our wedding in a natural, yet fun/festival style. He also captured the full speeches, which is a must, as it was only when we watched them back we realised a) just how great they were and b) how much we’d forgotten in the midst of the wedding blur…

Finding the venue was the hardest part – we searched high and low for months. We had to make sure it had space for a marquee and camping, was within a 20-min drive of the in-laws’ local church, had a house where my extended family and I could stay for the week, whilst not breaking the bank. It was 20 pages deep into an online wedding directory that we stumbled upon Southover House. The photos online weren’t great, but luckily when we saw it in person, we instantly knew it was the one. A beautiful manor house with extensive grounds and a heated pool, plus the world’s most relaxed/flexible owner (and for a great price too…) 

Tell us about your wedding outfits, and why you picked them.

Thanks to my love of rom-coms and reality TV, the scene I’d envisaged when trying on ‘the one’ was very far from the truth. It was actually a spontaneous trip to a Pronovias sample sale on a (slightly extended) lunch break with colleagues the day after the work Xmas party, where I found ‘the one’. I was feeling a bit gross after scoffing a huge burrito, but the fact I immediately felt great as soon as it slipped on said a lot! My mother wasn’t thrilled when I told her I’d bought a wedding dress that she hadn’t even seen, but thankfully she ended up loving my beaded, sleeved, fitted dress, which was nothing like the 20 dresses I’d tried on previously.

Thankfully the bridesmaids’ dress process was a lot more in line with expectations! We went to Maids to Measure in Fulham where we sipped on Prosecco whilst my bridesmaids all agreed that they loved the same dress which just so happened to fit them, and the theme, perfectly – a total breeze.

Ollie’s suit was a navy Ted Baker one – he chose it with his parents on a day out in London. It was classic but stylish, and well fitted – he’s a pretty slim guy so he liked the fact it didn’t feel oversized. His tie and pocket square were from Mrs Bow Tie – they were the perfect colour match for the bridesmaids’ dresses. His ushers and the dads all wore navy suits from Young’s hire, which they were all happy with! Everyone looked amazing together on the day.

What was your budget?

It was £25k originally, but admittedly the budget tracker that my accountant mother made us became a bit neglected over time. Everyone says to prioritise the things that are important to you and save money on those that aren’t, but that is a LOT easier said than done (especially for a perfectionist like me!). It was worth every penny though.

Do you have any advice for couples currently planning their wedding, for either the planning or the lead-up?

Stop worrying about the guest list! We had a few dramas in both the months and days leading up to it, which felt like HUGE problems at the time, but on the day you won’t even realise there were ever any issues – everyone will be there to celebrate your marriage and have a bloody good party, and that’s all that matters.  

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Credits

Photographer: Will Patrick Wedding Photography

Reception venue: Southover House

Dress: Pronovias

Suit: Ted Baker

Festival Flags: Event Flag Hire

Wedding Planner: South Coast Weddings

Band: The Brightside Band

Transport: Dorset Dubbers

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